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Featured image, Silicon Cape team left to right: Boardmember James Milne, Project administrator Joslyn Links, General manager Kerry Petrie, Ecosystem manager Boitumelo Menyatswe, Chairperson Sumarie Roodt, and Treasurer Zimkhita Buwa (Supplied)

Silicon Cape launches new membership model, strategy

Cape Town based tech initiative Silicon Cape has launched its new strategic plan, as well as a new membership model.

The organisation, which aims to support the Western Cape tech community, launched the new membership model and strategic plan at an event on Monday (30 July) in Cape Town.

The new strategy aims to connect stakeholders, amplify stories of the continent’s tech innovators, advocate on behalf of the ecosystem, build networks for student entrepreneurs and build connections with other hubs across the continent.

Silicon Cape’s new membership model offers different paid-for plans, which start at R500

Silicon Cape’s new membership model offers different paid-for plans. These start at R500 and provide local and global innovation stakeholders curated access to the ecosystem, access to resources and marketing opportunities on the organisation’s platform.

In addition, membership also includes tech tours that will highlight key startups and innovation spaces within the ecosystem.

In a statement today explaining the new plan (3 August), Silicon Cape general manager Kerry Petrie (pictured above, third from left) pointed to findings from an Endeavour Report released earlier this week which attributed the strength of Cape Town’s ecosystem to the connections between its stakeholders.

Read more: Cape Town’s IT sector more than double that of Lagos, Nairobi combined – report

“Our community works hard to keep talking to each other, supporting each other and trying to leverage collective resources where possible. This speaks to Silicon Cape’s success historically, but also, critically, informs our new membership model.

“The model is how we plan to grow and strengthen those connections to maintain the dynamism of the ecosystem,” said Petrie.

Financial independence and sustainability

Silicon Cape stated that its shift away from a single source of corporate or government donor funding aligns to the non-profits “strategic goal” to stimulate inclusivity and ensure long term financial sustainability.

The new model, the organisation pointed out, allows Silicon Cape to hold a “closer working relationship” with a wider range of stakeholders through “clearly articulated relationships”.

‘Strategy required a rigorous process’

Silicon Cape’s 2021 strategic plan incorporates the inputs of ecosystem clusters, after a series of panel discussions held over the last three months.

The events aimed to gain insights from key stakeholders who included innovation incubators, accelerators, enablers, service providers, funders and entrepreneurs.

Read more: Silicon Cape to engage local tech community to help forge new strategy

Silicon Cape chairperson Sumarie Roodt (pictured above, second from right) said the focus of the organisation’s strategic review was about finding out what more the initiative could do, as well as how the organisation could “do things better” and add more value.

“We have come so far as an organisation and as an ecosystem but there is always more that can be done and that is a very exciting space to be in.

“The development of the strategy required a rigorous process, including an extensive amount of consultation and research within the innovation ecosystem,” said Roodt.

She added that undertaking such a review process requires “a certain amount of boldness” which she said the organisation did not shy away from.

“These review processes are critical for any organisation such as ourselves in order to ensure relevancy and to add high impact value to the vibrant community we serve. We are showing the world that Cape Town in itself, and also as a gateway to Africa, is where you want to be,” said Roodt.

Read more: ‘Silicon Cape event to tackle lack of diversity in tech sector’
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Read more: Silicon Cape appoints new leadership and operations team
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Read more: Silicon Cape global expansion strategy: Chair to sign deal with Hamburg@Work

Featured image, Silicon Cape team left to right: Boardmember James Milne, Project administrator Joslyn Links, General manager Kerry Petrie, Ecosystem manager Boitumelo Menyatswe, Chairperson Sumarie Roodt, and Treasurer Zimkhita Buwa (Supplied)